Microlise held its Annual Transport Conference at the Ricoh Arena on the 14th of May 2014. Over 600 delegates heard from a number of governing bodies and leading industry figures about how they are bringing best practice to transport and logistics operations.
The Conference was once again hosted by Quentin Willson who seamlessly introduced and reflected on the significance and key issues in the content delivered. Quentin also reminded the audience of the crucial role the Fair Fuels campaign has fulfilled in capping fuel duty and the work that remains to be done. Quentin also emphasised the contribution that the conference and delegates could offer in supporting the conference charity, Help for Heroes.
Key note speakers came from a range of industry sectors, membership and compliance bodies and spoke on a variety of topics.
Steve Agg, Chief Executive Officer, The Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport gave the opening address, guiding the conference through The CILT Vision 2035 and what demands and pressures would be put on local and global supply chains and how operators must adapt for the future.
Theo de Pencier, Chief Executive of the FTA echoed many of the points made by Steve Agg and outlined the importance of collaboration within our industry and gave some interesting examples which included the work that Microlise and the FTA are undertaking in the area of digital tachograph download over air to support FTA tachograph analysis services. Theo also offered a preview of the FTA’s Logistics Report 2014 which will be available soon.
Sarah Bell, Traffic Commissioner, West of England gave an entertaining talk about the Traffic Commissioners’ Priorities for 2014 including, data governance, how new processes and technology, coupled with effective stakeholder engagement and better collaboration would make everyone’s lives easier with less time spent managing the safe & compliant operators and more time being spent on rooting out the remaining problem operators.
Alastair Peoples, Chief Executive Officer, Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency discussed the merger of VOSA and DSA and what benefits could be expected of the newly formed Driver & Vehicles Standards Agency particularly in areas such as compliance, education and enforcement.
Tim Slater, Managing Director, Transport UK&I at DHL Supply Chain, took the conference attendees through an interesting presentation highlighting the challenges logistics operations, both large and small face in the coming years and how businesses must shape themselves to thrive. A number of delegates commented that it was pleasing to see significant parallels in terms of the views of the trade bodies, government agencies and operators alike.
Glen Davies, Programme Manager, Freight & Fleet Programmes, Transport for London spoke passionately about the CLOCS initiative, which actively encourages operators to look out for vulnerable road users (particularly cyclists), highlighted the problems, the work undertaken thus far and laid out a challenge to vehicle manufactures and operators alike to change their vehicle configurations and better train drivers (and cyclists) as to the risks.
James Andrews, General Manager, Maritime Transport spoke about their selection of a transport execution partner, the deployment of Microlise telematics and the benefits the company has realised as a result.
Quentin Willson presented some interesting information gained from over 50,000 Microlise Telematics units used in the UK in the HGV sector. By collecting over 30 million miles of telematics information per day the “big” data produced showed delegates where the most dangerous roads in the UK are, outlined the effects of weather on fuel usage and the real difference in fuel consumption between Euro 4, 5 and 6. This data is a snap shot of information that will be provided in Microlise’s new annual consultancy report which will be available in the summer.
Andy Downton, Managing Director, Downton’s Transport gave a hugely entertaining view from the perspective of a large privately owned logistics operator as to the process Downton went through in the choice and deployment of Microlise Fleet Performance telematics and the operational and financial benefits deploying a Microlise solution has delivered. Key themes included the need for board level sponsor, a full time implementation manager, focused driver training resource, effective communications and driver rewards to support driver buy in. Andy concluded the deployment had been a success and had saved the business over £500,000 in year 1 after all costs had been accounted for.
Mark Albiston, Hewden Plant Hire shared with the audience the importance of the customer impact of “On Time – In Full” deliveries to their customers and how the Microlise system has supported the growth of their business in this regard.
Andrew De’Vere, Managing Director – Shared User Operations, NFT shared his team’s experience of NFT’s investment in technology. He outlined how NFT made their choice of technology partner, the benefits the Microlise system has delivered and the future enhancements they will be deploying.
This year’s event incorporated a 2000m2 expo area where new vehicles and trailers were on display. There was time set aside for networking over coffee breaks and lunch, where attendees could also spend time browsing a number of exhibitor stalls displaying complimentary technologies and services.
This year’s conference sponsors were MAN whose display of their latest generation Euro 6 engines in the exhibition area was met with great interest. Brit European brought along one of their dual fuel trucks, complete with three JCBs on a low loader. Graham Lackey, Brit European MD, was on hand once again to update delegates who attended in 2013 about the Brit European dual fuel story.
Maritime exhibited one of their new tractor units and were on-hand to speak about their services whilst trailer manufacturer Cartwright’s brought along their new curtain sider trailer.
Finally, Guest Speaker, Captain Tony Harris, the figure behind the Race 2 Recovery charity, gave a moving, inspirational and very personal account of the challenges that he and other members of the Race 2 Recovery team faced during last year’s Dakar Rally. Tony and his team mates are all injured veterans. Extensive use of video footage was used including that of an injured Tony being evacuated in Afghanistan, footage of the team before and during the rally, coupled with amusing and moving anecdotes spanning Tony’s time as a serving officer, the IED explosion that caused his injuries, his survival and recuperation, through to competing in the world’s toughest rally.
Just as with previous events, this year’s Microlise Transport Conference was met with hugely positive feedback and comments like, “I thoroughly enjoyed the conference… it was an excellent day with interesting and informative speakers” and “We found it really useful… we’ll definitely be there again next year” were shared with Microlise representatives.
Bob Harbey, the director at Microlise responsible for the event said, “This event has really established itself firmly in the transport professional’s calendar. I would like to extend my thanks to our speakers for their amazing contribution and to our delegates, who once again have taken time out of their busy schedules to attend and make the event such a great success.”